Monday 12 February 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ What We Thought We Knew by Claire Dyer


25 January 2024

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

The families at numbers two, four and six Penwood Heights are connected by work, friendship, the loss of a child and a secret truth which has sat in the bedrock of their lives for years. In the centre of this tight-knit group is Faith, who believes her job is to act as a paperweight, keeping them all safe. And she does this until someone from her past reappears and threatens to sabotage everything. And, as the pieces fall, these families, these friends, realise that what they thought they knew about one another was nothing more than make-believe. They also discover that trust is illusory and for Faith, at least, that keeping other people’s secrets can be more dangerous than keeping her own.

πŸ“– My Review...

Penwood Heights is home to three families whose lives intertwine, their children play together, and the husbands drink in the local pub whilst their wives host movie nights and dinner parties. They pick blackberries in the woods and picnic in summer meadows. They laugh together, celebrate successes together and then ultimately they grieve together when tragedy rocks the foundations of their close knit group. Moving forward and backwards in time we get a sharp view of these three families, we witness the after effects of the tragedy and we move with them as they pick up the pieces, some coping better than others but always seeming to remain a cohesive whole. Faith is the one person who seems to holds them all together but when something happens to disturb the equilibrium, it is Faith who bears the brunt of the fallout.

Beautifully written and sensitively explored this story unpicks the myriad threads of interconnected friendship and family life, revealing tangled secrets which would be better if they had been left hidden. However, the  inevitability of secrets being exposed and dissolved reveals much and these revelations are what gives the book its absolute strength and makes the story compelling reading. I raced through the story in a couple of sittings as I really couldn’t put the book down and wanted to know how this tangled web of secrets would evolve and eventually play out in the wider scheme of events.

I’ve now read several books by this talented author and each one leaves me wanting more. What We Thought We Knew will remain with me for quite some time and has already secured its place on my Book of the Year list. 

About the Author

Claire Dyer’s poetry collections are published by Two Rivers Press, her novels by Quercus, The Dome Press, Matador and Pegasus. Her latest novel is ‘What We Thought We Knew’, and a further collection, ‘The Adjustments’, is forthcoming with Two Rivers Press in April 2024. She teaches creative writing and runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service. She is Poetry Consultant to the Council of the SWWJ, has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and is represented by Broo Doherty at DHH Literary Agency.

X/Twitter @clairedyer1

Website Facebook Instagram

Amazon UK

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.